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Report of the Commissioners for the Exhibition of 1851


    AMONG the manifold recollections aroused by the Royal Jubilee, it is fitting that we should spare a moment for a backward glance to that May day of eighty -four years ago, when a vast concourse of people from all parts of the world were thrilled by the opening of the Great Exhibition of 1851; and, therewith, a tribute to the potent and beneficent spirit of its creator, the Prince Consort. “A complete and beautiful triumph,“wrote the Queen in her diary of the opening day, and it became evident in the course of the summer that the venture was to prove a financial triumph. Some weeks before the closing day, the Prince excogitated a scheme for the disposal of the surplus, which amounted to £186,000. Its leading ideas, as set out in a memorandum written by him at Osborne on August 10, were the purchase of the Kensington Gore estate and its use for perpetuating the objects of the exhibition, so “that the different industrial pursuits of mankind, arts, and science should not again relapse into a state of comparative isolation from each other”.

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